Be Joyful Always

I have written about the today’s text on several other instances, but that does not mean I don’t need to reflect over it again. The post will be brief, however, it carries with it a momentary challenge for the believer who seeks to evidence the Fruit of the Spirit. During the excursions into joy, we have seen that joy arises from the Word, the Spirit and from service to Christ in building the kingdom of God. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul shares a number of exhortations with the Thessalonians, but I want to focus on what Paul says about joy.

First, we clearly understand what is meant by exhortations. The word exhort means to strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something. Paul is urging the Thessalonians to do something in our text for today. Let’s see what it is.

15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 16 Be joyful always17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is noteworthy to remember not to pay back wrong for wrong as well as to be kind to all. It is a blessing to give thanks in all circumstances. After all, it is God’s will.  Joy is not more important than any of those attributes, but joy is the focus of this post. Consequently, we will examine these three words that carry an awesome responsibility – one that is certainly a challenge with all that one faces in life.

We are told to Be joyful always. Remember there are two types of verbs in the English language – action verbs and state of being. The subject (you) in the verse is understood. The verb is “be” which is a state of being verb. It connotes ones existence or how to live. How are we told to live? Joyfully! When? Always! If it is a state of being, then the believer is assumed to have a choice in that state of being. God, through Paul, is telling us we can choose to be joyful or glad ALWAYS.

While I have not reached the always destination, I can tell you over this past nine weeks joy has been a focus for me. I have personally experienced moments when I did choose to experience joy rather than grief, doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, sorry, misery and the like. Don’t get me wrong, there are number of circumstances that occurred which were not pleasant; but that is the blessing about being joyful. Trust me, I am well acquainted with being controlled by my emotions. This is the reason God directed me to write about joy. In Christ, I have a choice to live above my circumstances and emotions, and so do you.

I am not sure what I will be confronted with in this day that will be unpleasant, but rest assured, I will strive to Be joyful always. Join me in that pursuit. Father, please help us have the strength through the Spirit to choose joy rather than some other negative emotion. Bless you Father for blessing us.


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